The Pigeon That Took Rome

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, War

Heston felt comfortable in Rome, having been there when he played Ben Hur. That had to have been the reasoning behind the title, to plant the Roman/Heston image in the audience's mind. Shavelson and Rose had just finished their splendid partnership, and Shavelson made this his first solo effort. But Heston in a comedy just doesn't wash. It's 1944, and Mussolini...read more

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Heston felt comfortable in Rome, having been there when he played Ben Hur. That had to have been the reasoning behind the title, to plant the Roman/Heston image in the audience's mind. Shavelson and Rose had just finished their splendid partnership, and Shavelson made this his first solo

effort. But Heston in a comedy just doesn't wash. It's 1944, and Mussolini has already been killed with mistress Clara Petacci in Milan. Heston and his assistant, Guardino, are smuggled into Rome, a city still occupied by the Fascists. Their job is to investigate and report on troop movements, but

they are ill suited for that kind of work, having no training in it whatsoever. They are greeted on the beach by 11 year-old Marietto and his father, Baccaloni (the former operatic basso buffo), who are partisans in the fight against the Nazis. Heston and Guardino are taken to their home against

the wishes of Baccaloni's two apolitical daughters, Martinelli and the pregnant Pallotta. Heston is using carrier pigeons to send information. When Guardino falls for Pallotta and announces that he wishes to marry her, a feast is planned for the occasion. However, there is no food to be found, so

Martinelli mistakenly roasts all but one of the carrier pigeons for the dinner. Marietto gets some German carrier pigeons to replace the Allied birds, and, of course, the pigeons carry Heston's messages right to Nazi headquarters. The one exception is the pigeon who carries the important message

to the right place, and the troops attack at Anzio as Heston is sending false messages to the Nazis to throw them off. The armies attack Rome and liberate it, Guardino and Pallotta marry at (you guessed it) the precise moment the baby appears, and Heston marries Martinelli. The pigeon gets the

Congressional Medal of Honor, something that he will probably show to all the other birds in the coop for years. A silly picture made even sillier by the wrong lead, THE PIGEON THAT TOOK ROME is a dead duck. The film received a nomination by the Academy for Best Art Direction.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Heston felt comfortable in Rome, having been there when he played Ben Hur. That had to have been the reasoning behind the title, to plant the Roman/Heston image in the audience's mind. Shavelson and Rose had just finished their splendid partnership, and Sh… (more)

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